In a dramatic turn of events, the three-member Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) on Monday decided to put the appointment of next India coach on hold despite completion of the interview process.
The decision to withhold the appointment is a clear indication that Ravi Shastri is no longer a runaway favourite for the top job after Virender Sehwag appeared in person for the interview which went on for two hours.
It was revealed that five people including Shastri, Sehwag, Lalchand Rajput and Richard Pybus appeared for interview while Phil Simmons made himself unavailable.
The CAC comprises former captains Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly along with VVS Laxman. Tendulkar joined today’s proceedings via skype as he is currently in London.
“We have interviewed all the prospective candidates, except Phil Simmons who was not available. We will hold on for the time being for the announcement of the coach. We want to speak to Kohli before making the announcement,” Ganguly told mediapersons.
Ganguly made it clear that they are looking at the bigger picture for the next two years and will take a decision in the best interest of Indian cricket.
Reiterating the policy of the BCCI, Ganguly stated that any appointment will be made till the World Cup.
“Once we make this announcement, it has to be till the World Cup (2019),” said Ganguly.
Ganguly said that the presentations given by coaches on their roadmap for Indian cricket were no different from what they saw last year.
“From what we have heard from the coaches, it is not different from last year. We will take a call in the due course of time. We are not in a hurry. Sri Lanka is a long tour. We want to make sure that everybody is in synchronisation.
“It’s not me, Sachin, Amitabh ji (Chaudhary) or Rahul (Johri), who will play. It is the players who will be playing and the support staff will be there. Everybody should be in synchronisation,” Ganguly said in a matter-of-fact manner.
He made it clear that skipper Virat Kohli remains an important cog in the decision-making process.
“Virat is an important cog in the system and we will take a call which would be the best way forward for the team and the boys because they are going to play.”
Sourav Ganguly also sent out a terse message to Virat Kohli, saying the Indian captain will need to understand how coaches operate in the wake of his infamous fallout with Anil Kumble.
“Virat will need to understand how coaches operate. At the same time, you have to give credit to Kohli that he has stayed out of the coach selection process. We will have a detailed chat with him once he is back from the West Indies,” said Ganguly.